Buying a listed building in Leicester - what you must know

Listed buildings are often a highly desirable ownership proposition. Heritage features such as character windows and hipped roof tiles ooze period charm. Ownership makes you are a caretaker of a piece of history and means accepting certain responsibilities that can undermine your enjoyment of your home.

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Listed house front door Leicester

What do I need to consider?

The first thing to do is look into what grading of listing the property is. This will explain what you can and can't do.

  • Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest
  • Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

What can and can't I do?

The controls over what can and can't be done to a listed building are in place to preserve a property's architectural or historic value. These building controls prevent alterations without consent (for example using non-sympathetic materials) to the building.

Examples of what specifically might be listed include anything from window frames to types of stone used in the building.

Find out more: Historic England database

Can I make alterations

Building regulations and listed building consent from Leicester City Council for any external or internal alterations will be required when purchasing a listed building.

What if the seller has made modifications already?

The required consents must be in place if a listed building in Leicester has already undergone alterations.

The responsibility for making sure all consents have been granted is passed to the new owner from the seller. Failing to comply in obtaining listed building consent for any demolition works, alterations or extensions is considered an offence.

What must the buyer do?

As the owner of a listed building in Leicester, you must keep the building well-maintained.

If you fail to do so, the local authority can take formal action, resulting in a compulsory purchase of the property if you refuse to comply.

Historic materials and methods, e.g. lime render, should be used (where necessary) for any repairs and maintenance work.

Directory of listed buildings in Leicester

Around 500,000 listed buildings exist across the country, and around 415 of which are within Leicester City Council area.

Leicester listed buildings and properties include:

  • Smiths, 2 And 4 Highfield Street, Leicester, City Of Leicester
  • The Odeon Theatre, Rutland Street, Leicester, City Of Leicester
  • Hogarths, 5-9 Hotel Street, Leicester, Le1 5Aw, Leicester, City Of Leicester
  • Ymca Building, 161-179 Granby Street, Leicester, City Of Leicester
  • 37-43 Rutland Street, Leicester, City Of Leicester

A full list can be found on the Historic England database

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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